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Digital Storytelling


Community Artists

In Fall 2010, film and anthropology students from American University’s School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences, working with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, assisted community artists in Southeast Washington to create their own original digital stories.

Getting Ugly
Toni Ford says that as a young girl, the stories she collected empowered her. (Video)

Gifts of the Spirit
The love that Rev. Ivy Hylton’s great grandmother passed down to her provided the architecture for a fulfilling life. (Video)

Something to Hold On To
An exploration of Charles “Coco” Bayron’s work, as he grew from a graffiti artist in the Bronx to a tattoo artist, who eventually transplanted to D.C.An exploration of Charles “Coco” Bayron’s work, as he grew from a graffiti artist in the Bronx to a tattoo artist, who eventually transplanted to D.C. (Video)

The Art of RE:membering
Melani Douglass revisits a tragic incident in her past, which threatened to seize her ability to feel whole. Through her art, Douglass found the strength to become at peace with her life. (Video)

The Family Business
For Mike Peay, family isn’t just who you’re related to. They’re the people with whom you feel most comfortable. (Video)

A Digital Story by Jay "Jahlion" Coleman
Surrounded by art his entire life and now a musician, writer, actor, and painter, Jay is dedicated to teaching arts to children with autism and other special conditions. In collaboration with Anedra Edwards

A Digital Story by Jennifer Gray
Questioning everything since she was a child, Jennifer uses photography to shake and wake people to think for themselves. In collaboration with Sara Gama

A Digital Story by John Pearson III
Growing up listening to Go Go music, John teaches and practices his own “Beat Your Feet” dance moves to young people -- fusing dance with other types of knowledge to teach life skills – like geometry! In collaboration with Nicole Wisler

A Digital Story by Kristen Hayes
Kristen turned from her work as a successful book designer, to create a color transformation project, using art to heal anyone in need of help – from young children to community elders.

A Digital Story by Luis Peralta
Moving from one war zone (Nicaragua) to another (14th and Park Road in the 1980’s,) Luis first used his talent as a street artist to reflect the battles for turf around him. Now, he creates messages of love and beauty so that young people are not overwhelmed by their still-harsh surroundings. In collaboration with Efrain Ramirez

A Digital Story by Pastor Lois Void
A choreographer and minister, Pastor Void uses music and dance to spread the gospel and help people express themselves, teaching people -- especially women -- life skills, and confidence. In collaboration with Alisa Morse & Jenny Harper

A Digital Story by Tendani Mpulubusi
Throughout public school, Tendani escaped the world of guns, drugs and girls by absorbing himself in building things. Today as a multi-media artist, musician and teacher, he uses all that he has to build his community. In collaboration with Jacqui Langer and Matt Sutton

Art for Joy, Love, and Life
Amber Robles-Gordon received some blunt criticism during her graduate studies when she was told she couldn’t seem to separate herself from her artwork. (Video)

Blackstraction: Putting the Word Out
Sheila Crider, co-founder of Free DC (The Writers’ Workshop), talks about her contributions to art history and literature by coining the term, “Blackstraction,” and its variants. (Video)

Bruce McNeil attributes his affinity for Fort Dupont Park to his former residency in Montreal. For McNeil, his world travels have influenced how he sees his neighborhood in Ward Seven, east of the Anacostia River. (Video)

My Life as a Performing Artist
The arts have always been a part of Saleem Hylton’s life. He talks about how music has carried him from a passion as a young boy, through a record deal with Motown, and into a career in youth development as an adult. (Video)

To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected
Wanda Aikens reflects on the lessons and gifts she was given by her family as a young girl, and talks about why those lessons are important to pass down to her children. (Video)